Job Replies: My Complaint Is Just

Then Job answered and said:

“Oh that my vexation were weighed,
    and all my calamity laid in the balances!
For then it would be heavier than (A)the sand of the sea;
    therefore my words have been rash.
For (B)the arrows of the Almighty are in me;
    my spirit drinks their poison;
    the terrors of God are arrayed against me.
Does the wild donkey bray when he has grass,
    or the ox low over his fodder?
Can that which is tasteless be eaten without salt,
    or is there any taste in the juice of the mallow?[a]
My appetite refuses to touch them;
    they are as food that is loathsome to me.[b]

“Oh that I might have my request,
    and that God would fulfill my hope,
that it would (C)please God to crush me,
    that he would let loose his hand and cut me off!
10 This would be my comfort;
    I would even exult[c] in pain (D)unsparing,
    for I have not denied the words of (E)the Holy One.
11 What is my strength, that I should wait?
    And what is my end, that I should be patient?
12 Is my strength the strength of stones, or is my flesh bronze?
13 Have I any help in me,
    when resource is driven from me?

14 “He who (F)withholds[d] kindness from a (G)friend
    forsakes the fear of the Almighty.
15 My (H)brothers are (I)treacherous as a torrent-bed,
    as torrential (J)streams that pass away,
16 which are dark with ice,
    and where the snow hides itself.
17 When they melt, they disappear;
    when it is hot, they vanish from their place.
18 The caravans turn aside from their course;
    they go up into (K)the waste and perish.
19 The caravans of (L)Tema look,
    the travelers of (M)Sheba hope.
20 They are (N)ashamed because they were confident;
    they come there and are (O)disappointed.
21 For you have now become nothing;
    you see my calamity and are afraid.
22 Have I said, ‘Make me a gift’?
    Or, ‘From your wealth offer a bribe for me’?
23 Or, ‘Deliver me from the adversary's hand’?
    Or, ‘Redeem me from the hand of (P)the ruthless’?

24 “Teach me, and I will be silent;
    make me understand how I have gone astray.
25 How forceful are upright words!
    But what does reproof from you reprove?
26 Do you think that you can reprove words,
    when the speech of a despairing man is (Q)wind?
27 You would even (R)cast lots over the fatherless,
    and bargain over your friend.

28 “But now, be pleased to look at me,
    for I will not lie to your face.
29 (S)Please turn; let no injustice be done.
    Turn now; my vindication is at stake.
30 Is there any injustice on my tongue?
    Cannot my palate discern the cause of calamity?

Job Continues: My Life Has No Hope

“Has not man (T)a hard service on earth,
    and are not his (U)days like the days of a hired hand?
Like a slave who longs for (V)the shadow,
    and like (W)a hired hand who looks for his (X)wages,
so I am allotted months of (Y)emptiness,
    (Z)and nights of misery are apportioned to me.
(AA)When I lie down I say, ‘When shall I arise?’
    But the night is long,
    and I am full of tossing till the dawn.
My flesh is clothed with (AB)worms and (AC)dirt;
    my skin hardens, then (AD)breaks out afresh.
My days are (AE)swifter than (AF)a weaver's shuttle
    and come to their end without hope.

“Remember that my life is a (AG)breath;
    my eye will never again see good.
(AH)The eye of him who sees me will behold me no more;
    while your eyes are on me, (AI)I shall be gone.
As (AJ)the cloud fades and vanishes,
    so he who (AK)goes down to Sheol does not come up;
10 he (AL)returns no more to his house,
    nor does his (AM)place know him anymore.

11 “Therefore I will not (AN)restrain my mouth;
    I will speak in the anguish of my spirit;
    I will (AO)complain in (AP)the bitterness of my soul.
12 Am I the sea, or (AQ)a sea monster,
    that you set a guard over me?
13 (AR)When I say, ‘My bed will comfort me,
    my couch will ease my complaint,’
14 then you scare me with dreams
    and terrify me with visions,
15 so that I would choose strangling
    and death rather than my (AS)bones.
16 I (AT)loathe my life; I would not live forever.
    (AU)Leave me alone, for my days are (AV)a breath.
17 (AW)What is man, that you make so much of him,
    and that you set your heart on him,
18 (AX)visit him every morning
    and (AY)test him every moment?
19 How long will you not (AZ)look away from me,
    nor leave me alone till I swallow my spit?
20 If I sin, what do I do to you, you watcher of mankind?
    Why have you made me (BA)your mark?
    Why have I become a burden to you?
21 Why do you not pardon my transgression
    and take away my iniquity?
For now I shall lie in (BB)the earth;
    you will (BC)seek me, (BD)but I shall not be.”

Bildad Speaks: Job Should Repent

Then (BE)Bildad the Shuhite answered and said:

“How long will you say these things,
    and the words of your mouth be a (BF)great wind?
(BG)Does God pervert justice?
    Or does the Almighty pervert the right?
If your (BH)children have sinned against him,
    he has delivered them into the hand of their transgression.
If you will seek God
    and (BI)plead with the Almighty for mercy,
if you are pure and upright,
    surely then he will (BJ)rouse himself for you
    and (BK)restore your rightful habitation.
And though your beginning was small,
    (BL)your latter days will be very great.

“For (BM)inquire, please, of bygone ages,
    and consider what (BN)the fathers have searched out.
For we are but of yesterday and know nothing,
    for our days on earth are (BO)a shadow.
10 Will they not teach you and tell you
    and utter words out of their understanding?

11 “Can papyrus grow where there is no marsh?
    Can reeds flourish where there is no water?
12 While yet in flower and not cut down,
    they (BP)wither before any other plant.
13 Such are the paths of all who (BQ)forget God;
    (BR)the hope of (BS)the godless shall perish.
14 His confidence is severed,
    and his trust is (BT)a spider's web.[e]
15 He leans against his (BU)house, but it does not stand;
    he lays hold of it, but it does not endure.
16 He is a lush plant before the sun,
    and his (BV)shoots spread over his garden.
17 His roots entwine the stone heap;
    he looks upon a house of stones.
18 If he is destroyed from his (BW)place,
    then it will deny him, saying, ‘I have never (BX)seen you.’
19 Behold, this is the joy of his way,
    and out of (BY)the soil others will spring.

20 “Behold, God will not reject a blameless man,
    nor take the hand of evildoers.
21 He will yet (BZ)fill your mouth with laughter,
    and your lips with shouting.
22 Those who hate you will be (CA)clothed with shame,
    and the tent of the wicked will be no more.”

Job Replies: There Is No Arbiter

Then Job answered and said:

“Truly I know that it is so:
    But how can a man be (CB)in the right before God?
If one wished to (CC)contend with him,
    one could not answer him once in a thousand times.
He is (CD)wise in heart and mighty in strength
    —who has (CE)hardened himself against him, and succeeded?—
he who removes mountains, and they know it not,
    when he overturns them in his anger,
who (CF)shakes the earth out of its place,
    and (CG)its pillars tremble;
who commands the sun, and it does not rise;
    who seals up the stars;
who alone (CH)stretched out the heavens
    and trampled the waves of the sea;
who (CI)made (CJ)the Bear and (CK)Orion,
    the Pleiades (CL)and the chambers of the south;
10 who does (CM)great things beyond searching out,
    and marvelous things beyond number.
11 Behold, he passes by me, and I (CN)see him not;
    he moves on, but I do not perceive him.
12 Behold, he snatches away; (CO)who can turn him back?
    (CP)Who will say to him, ‘What are you doing?’

13 “God will not turn back his anger;
    beneath him bowed the helpers of (CQ)Rahab.
14 (CR)How then can I (CS)answer him,
    choosing my words with him?
15 (CT)Though I am in the right, I cannot answer him;
    I must (CU)appeal for mercy to my accuser.[f]
16 If I summoned him and he answered me,
    I would not believe that he was listening to my voice.
17 For he crushes me with a tempest
    and multiplies my wounds (CV)without cause;
18 he will not let me get my breath,
    but fills me with bitterness.
19 If it is a contest of (CW)strength, behold, he is mighty!
    If it is a matter of justice, who can (CX)summon him?[g]
20 Though I am in the right, (CY)my own mouth would condemn me;
    though I am blameless, he would prove me perverse.
21 I am (CZ)blameless; I regard not myself;
    I (DA)loathe my life.
22 It is all one; therefore I say,
    ‘He (DB)destroys both the blameless and the wicked.’
23 When (DC)disaster brings sudden death,
    he mocks at the calamity[h] of the innocent.
24 (DD)The earth is given into the hand of the wicked;
    he (DE)covers the faces of its judges—
    (DF)if it is not he, who then is it?

25 “My (DG)days are swifter than (DH)a runner;
    they flee away; they see no good.
26 They go by like (DI)skiffs of reed,
    like (DJ)an eagle swooping on the prey.
27 If I say, (DK)‘I will forget my complaint,
    I will put off my sad face, and (DL)be of good cheer,’
28 I become (DM)afraid of all my suffering,
    for I know you will not (DN)hold me innocent.
29 I shall be (DO)condemned;
    why then do I labor in vain?
30 If I wash myself with snow
    and (DP)cleanse my hands with lye,
31 yet you will plunge me into a pit,
    and my own clothes will (DQ)abhor me.
32 For he is not a man, as I am, that I might answer him,
    that we should (DR)come to trial together.
33 (DS)There is no[i] arbiter between us,
    who might lay his hand on us both.
34 (DT)Let him take his (DU)rod away from me,
    and let (DV)not dread of him terrify me.
35 Then I would speak without fear of him,
    for I am not so in myself.

Job Continues: A Plea to God

10 “I (DW)loathe my life;
I will give free utterance to my (DX)complaint;
    I will speak in (DY)the bitterness of my soul.
I will say to God, Do not (DZ)condemn me;
    let me know why you (EA)contend against me.
(EB)Does it seem good to you to oppress,
    to despise (EC)the work of your hands
    (ED)and favor the designs of the wicked?
Have you (EE)eyes of flesh?
    (EF)Do you see as man sees?
Are your days as the days of man,
    or your (EG)years as a man's years,
that you (EH)seek out my iniquity
    and search for my sin,
although you (EI)know that I am not guilty,
    and there is (EJ)none to deliver out of your hand?
(EK)Your hands fashioned and made me,
    and now you have destroyed me altogether.
Remember that you have made me like (EL)clay;
    and will you return me to the (EM)dust?
10 Did you not pour me out like milk
    and curdle me like cheese?
11 You clothed me with skin and flesh,
    and knit me together with bones and sinews.
12 You have granted me life and steadfast love,
    and your care has preserved my spirit.
13 Yet these things you hid in your heart;
    I know that (EN)this was your purpose.
14 If I sin, you (EO)watch me
    and do not (EP)acquit me of my iniquity.
15 (EQ)If I am guilty, woe to me!
    If I am (ER)in the right, I cannot lift up my head,
for I am filled with disgrace
    and (ES)look on my affliction.
16 And were my head lifted up,[j] you would hunt me like (ET)a lion
    and again work (EU)wonders against me.
17 You renew your (EV)witnesses against me
    and increase your vexation toward me;
    you (EW)bring fresh troops against me.

18 (EX)“Why did you bring me out from the womb?
    Would that I had died before any eye had seen me
19 (EY)and were as though I had not been,
    carried from the womb to the grave.
20 (EZ)Are not my days few?
    (FA)Then cease, and leave me alone, (FB)that I may find a little cheer
21 before I go—and (FC)I shall not return—
    to the land of (FD)darkness and (FE)deep shadow,
22 the land of gloom like thick darkness,
    like deep shadow without any order,
    where light is as thick darkness.”


  1. Job 6:6 The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain
  2. Job 6:7 The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain
  3. Job 6:10 The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain
  4. Job 6:14 Syriac, Vulgate (compare Targum); the meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain
  5. Job 8:14 Hebrew house
  6. Job 9:15 Or to my judge
  7. Job 9:19 Or who can grant me a hearing?
  8. Job 9:23 The meaning of the Hebrew word is uncertain
  9. Job 9:33 Or Would that there were an
  10. Job 10:16 Hebrew lacks my head

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